Commission Structure

The Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government consists of 11 members with staggered four-year terms. The breakdown of nominations/appointments to the new Commission is as follows: the Governor (3); Senate President and Majority Leader (2); Senate Minority Leader (1); Assembly Speaker (2); Assembly Minority Leader (1); the Comptroller (1); and the Attorney General (1).

Instead of elected officials making direct appointments to the Commission, as has historically been the case, the Ethics Reform Act of 2022 created the Independent Review Committee (“IRC”) comprised of the Deans of the State’s 15 law schools to determine whether or not nominees should be confirmed for appointment.

Commission members appoint an executive director who serves a four-year term and is responsible for carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the Commission.

More information on the IRC can be found at




Sanford N. Berland

Sanford N. Berland was appointed Executive Director of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics in April 2021. He most recently served as a Judge on the New York State Court of Claims and as an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Suffolk County. Judge Berland has a long career in private practice, including 14 years with Pfizer, Inc. as well as a number of stints as a law firm partner after beginning his legal career as a law clerk for United States District Court Judge Edward R. Neaher, Jr. in the Eastern District of New York. Judge Berland is a magna cum laude graduate of both the State University of New York at Buffalo and of SUNY Buffalo Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State and Suffolk County Bar Associations and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and is admitted to practice in the State of New York and in various federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Judge Berland has served the community as a member of the Advisory Board of the Jewish Community Relations Council-Long Island and as co-founder of Families Against Anti-Semitism and for Campus Tolerance.

Commission Statement 10/26/2022

Interim Chair Frederick A. Davie and Interim Vice-Chair Leonard B. Austin

Statement of Commission Interim Chair Frederick A. Davie

I want to assure the public that each Commissioner of the New York State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government takes very seriously the standards by which we should conduct ourselves. We are unequivocally committed to adhering both to the letter and to the spirit of the law and to the rules and regulations that govern how we comport ourselves as commissioners. I am confident you will see us live up to this for the duration of our tenure on this Commission.

Frederick A. Davie


Statement of Commission Interim Vice-Chair Leonard B. Austin

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission and members of the public, I've learned a valuable lesson recently that our obligation is to not only be adherent to the law but also to the spirit of the law. Because the transparency of this Commission is so vitally important, we must do that.


Any suggestion that I did not answer honestly on my application or that I violated the law is incorrect. However, I did step over the line with regard to honoring the spirit of the law and in attending a fundraiser. Even though I paid no money, it was an error that, I assure you, will never occur again. It was a lesson learned the hard way, which is sometimes the best lesson learned. 


Code of Conduct and Recusal Policy